Daimler flags recovery signs, sees Mercedes-Benz EBIT rising this year

Daimler (DAIGn.DE) on Thursday flagged signs of recovering demand for top-end Mercedes-Benz models and electric vehicles, sending its shares higher. FILE PHOTO: Mercedes logo is seen as Ola Kaellenius, CEO of German luxury car manufacturer Daimler AG, speaks at the annual results news conference in Stuttgart, Germany, February 11, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas GebertCEO Ola Kaellenius said its Mercedes-Benz cars and vans division appeared set for a rise in 2020 operating profit. “We are now seeing the first signs of a sales recovery especially at Mercedes-Benz passenger cars,” Kaellenius told journalists on a call. “I see the strongest growth in the upper end of the segments where we are active,” he said. Daimler shares were up 5.5% at 41.32 euros at 1028 GMT versus a German blue-chip DAX index just 0.6% higher. The share rise came as Daimler confirmed second-quarter results it pre-released last week, including revenue down 30% and an EBIT loss of 1.68 billion euros ($1.95 billion). “This share move is partially due to the relief that things are not getting worse, and maybe there is also a bit of Tesla euphoria at work,” Nord LB analyst Frank Schwope said. Related CoverageMercedes-Benz says it will focus on high-end cars to hike profitsMercedes engineers helped Tesla develop its electric cars. On Wednesday the U.S. electric carmaker posted a fourth consecutive quarterly profit, making it eligible to join the largest stock index, an expectation which has helped boost its shares by 500% this year. Kaellenius is leading a cost-cutting drive to improve profitability as the pandemic hits sales and is also taking aim at production of high-margin models.

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